Hey Y’all! Who’s ready for the latest episode of The Jet Sisters? Hold on to your boots, because we’re going back to our Southern roots.
We’ve been to Nashville plenty of times, but never had the chance to visit darling Franklin or its charming neighbor, Leipers Fork. Franklin is such an easy day trip from Nashville and just a 40-minute drive from Nashville Airport (BNA). Franklin was like a postcard – the perfect place for a road trip on the Natchez Trace, a culinary tour of one of America’s most famous Main Streets and the chance to run into any number of celebrities out doing their grocery shopping.
That’s right; dozens of famous folks make their home in this area of Tennessee from Franklin to Leiper’s Fork to Brentwood. Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, Brad Paisley, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Kathy Lee Gifford and just too many to mention make their homes in Middle Tennessee.
But as the locals will tell you, it’s so much more than that! Sure, award-winning musicians and actors grab their morning coffee at The RedByrd, eat at Puckett’s and get their sugar fix at Triple Crown Bakery – and no one even thinks to bother them. Forget paparazzi. Franklin is where celebs and regular folks enjoy the simple life, gorgeous scenery and yummy restaurants.
The vibe is small-town and casual, and believe it or not, we felt completely anonymous in Franklin. No one asked for autographs or tried to snap surreptitious photos of us for TMZ. It’s almost like no one recognized us at all. It’s a nice change – no wonder so many celebs come here to escape!
Things to Do in Franklin, Tennessee
From spontaneous porch-front performances from country music’s up-and-comers to the best food this side of the Mississippi, Franklin is the Music City’s more rural, more adorably country counterpart.
So pull up a rocking chair and get ready – we’re taking y’all to Franklin with us!
Disclaimer: This episode was filmed in partnership with Visit Franklin.
Where Is Franklin, TN?
Franklin is the county seat of Williamson County, Tennessee, and truly is one of the most idyllic American towns you could ever hope to find. Just 21 miles from Nashville, Franklin is a musical hotspot with annual festivals, amazing venues and intimate watering holes. No matter where your wanderings take you, you won’t be far from live music at any given time of day.
Franklin has a population of about 70,000, and you can meet quite a few of them shopping at local boutiques and dining on Main Street, one of the most notable thoroughfares of its kind in the U.S.
How to Get to Franklin
Franklin, Tenn., is within a day or less of driving distance from Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Cincinnati and St. Louis, so a road trip might be the ticket. If you’re exploring the famous Natchez Trace, a 444-mile scenic road from Nashville to Natchez, it runs right through Franklin so it makes a perfect stop.
We’re obsessed with national parks and road trips, so the Natchez Trace is one of our favorite ways to combine both! The Natchez Trace is the 8th most visited National Park in the US. What some consider to be the oldest highway in America passes right through Williamson County following a pre-settlement trade route from Nashville to the Mississippi River.
Just 10 miles from downtown Franklin, don’t miss Natchez Trace Parkway Double Arch Bridge. It’s 145’ tall, spanning 1,500’ over two arches. It’s a can’t miss drive with winding roads and views that go for miles from atop the bridge.
If you’re too far away to road trip to Tennessee or you’re just short on time, there are plenty of direct flights into Nashville Airport (BNA), and it’s just 40 minutes from Franklin.
Franklin Weekend Getaway – The Jet Sisters’ Way
Franklin may be the Hollywood of the South, but it’s approachable whether you’re a celebrity or a regular Joe. If you’re into open mic nights at the local hotspot in Leiper’s Fork or if you’re more of a VIP-seating at the hottest new venue this side of Nashville, we’ve got the itinerary for you. We designed our weekend Franklin itinerary on what we like to do, where we like to eat and our favorite accommodations. If you like doing, seeing and eating, this episode from Williamson County, Tennessee is just for you.
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With so much to see and do… and let’s be honest… to eat, in Franklin – this weekend itinerary is just enough to give you a taste of everything this area has to offer.
Want to recreate our trip? Just decide on your budget and choose what works for you! We’re happy to help you decide where to splurge and where to save when you visit Leiper’s Fork and Franklin.
Rachel’s Budget Friendly Franklin Itinerary
What to Do in Downtown Franklin, TN
Since 1799, Main Street has been the center of life in downtown Franklin, so that’s where my budget friendly itinerary begins. Main Street is surrounded by 16 blocks of historic homes and buildings, and has been recognized its well-preserved architecture, quirky boutiques, art galleries and dozens of restaurants and bars.
The best way to get your bearings in this historic area is via the Visit Franklin Digital Passports program. What I love about this is you can drive from stop to stop or explore different areas at your leisure on foot, and you can spend as much or as little as your wallet will allow.
- Are you into cake and pie? Check out the Sweet Treats Trail.
- Love old houses and architecture? Try the Historic Homes of Hincheyville Trail.
- Addicted to caffeine? The Craft Coffee Trail is a must!
- Into ghost stories? Haunts and Headstones will give you a fright.
TIP: Complete any one of the Digital Passport trails and swing by the visitor center to pick up a prize!
1400 Main St #130, Franklin, TN 37064
More attractions in Downtown Franklin
- Eat at Gray’s on Main, one of downtown’s longstanding landmarks.
- Shopping! Check out some of Franklin’s most loved shops, Habit, Tin Cottage, The Heirloom Shoppe and Philanthropy Fashion.
- History buffs will enjoy a tour of Carter House, a restored 1830s home that served as a command station in the Civil War.
The Best Vacation Rentals in Leipers Fork
Just up the road from downtown Franklin is the charming village of Leiper’s Fork, a spot you absolutely can’t miss on a visit to Williamson County. Franklin and Leiper’s Fork are about 8 miles apart, so no matter what you want to see, do and eat, you’re close to it all. Pot N’ Kettle Cottages are in the heart of Leiper’s Fork, thus a perfect choice for low-key country living… and of course surrounded by low-key celebrities. Whether you’re a party of 2 traveling sisters or a big group having a girls’ weekend near Nashville, Pot N’ Kettle Cottages have a comfy spot for you.
The Coda Cottage starts at just $150/night. A steal to be in the heart of Leiper’s Fork!
Owners Sam and Eric are Southern hospitality gurus, and we felt that from the moment we arrived. We stayed in the Deal Cottage, a colorfully renovated home from the early 1900s with three cozy bedrooms, three gorgeous bathrooms and a gourmet, designer kitchen that will emit squeals from anyone who loves to cook. The Deal Cottage sits on two sleepy acres on the bank of a creek which you can enjoy from the rocking chairs on the covered front porch. There’s cornhole boards out back, Smeg appliances and a thousand glorious design details to appreciate. It’s peaceful as can be and feels as far from the daily grind as you can imagine, but it’s just two miles from the heart of Leiper’s Fork and the other Pot N’ Kettle properties.
Check pricing and availability at Pot N’ Kettle Cottages
Restaurants in Franklin, Tennessee
Where do we even start? Franklin’s food scene is bustling and there are plenty of budget friendly options throughout Williamson County. But I had to choose just one, so I picked a local favorite – Biscuit Love. It began as a food truck/Airstream in Franklin and now there are multiple physical locations in Tennessee. Known (obviously) for all manner of biscuits, the Franklin location is housed in a historic home known as the “Corn House,” with a gorgeous front porch and a Dolly Parton-themed bathroom you can’t miss.
FUN FACT: The Corn House was the generational home of the Corn family, who operated the flour mill downtown. You can still see the silos a block away.
But back to the best biscuits ever. If buttermilk biscuits topped with sausage, gravy, egg and cheese sound good to you, order the S.E.C. For a spicier adventure, order the Princess, a biscuit with a “hot chicken” thigh, pickles, mustard and honey.
Oh, and don’t forget the famous Bonuts – the love child of buttermilk biscuits and donuts. Served with berry compote and lemon mascarpone. SWOON.
132 3rd Avenue South, Franklin, TN 37064
Rachel’s Budget Friendly Franklin Itinerary: $200
Angie’s Upscale Franklin Itinerary
Where to Stay in Downtown Franklin
Time to check into The Harpeth Hotel, a Curio by Hilton property and Franklin’s first new hotel downtown in decades. Opened in 2019, The Harpeth has 119 rooms with downtown or courtyard views and is part of a larger project called Harpeth Square scheduled to include more shops, restaurants and condos. The hotel currently has two dining options – 1799 Kitchen & Cocktails, an upscale whiskey-themed spot designed by Heath Clark (more about him later) and McGavock’s Coffee & Provisions.
Fun Fact: The Harpeth River runs through town.
There’s history around every corner in the hotel, whose courtyard has a grand entrance stairwell, live music and lots of folks hanging out and enjoying pastries from McGavock’s.
Check pricing and availability at The Harpeth Hotel
130 2nd Ave N, Franklin, TN 37064
Distilleries in Franklin, Tennessee
For my indulgent dining option, I just had to pay homage to one of the signature Tennessee tastes – whiskey! And what better way to do that than Gray Line’s private black car tour of two of Franklin’s famous distilleries, one of its best restaurants and the postcard perfect Williamson County roads.
The tour lasts around 5 hours and takes you from Leiper’s Fork Distillery, a gorgeous spot with a tasting room and live music to H. Clark Distillery, a small-but-delicious operation run by Heath Clark, the local lawyer who worked to get Tennessee’s outdated liquor laws changed. Afterward, we had dinner at Circa in Thompson’s Station, my new favorite restaurant in Tennessee and home of cornbread that actually made Rae cry. If you like upscale Southern cuisine, plan to make a stop at Circa!
We didn’t have to think about a thing while being chauffered around the countryside, other than which whiskey was our favorite and if we had enough suitcase room to bring souvenirs home for the husbands. The tour costs anywhere from $50-$112 per person and dinner is not included in the price. Click here for pricing and availability for Gray Line’s Dinner and Distilleries tour of Franklin.
Circa | 1549 Thompson’s Station Rd W, Thompson’s Station, TN 37179
Leiper’s Fork Distillery | 3381 Southall Rd, Franklin, TN 37064
H. Clark Distillery | 1557 Thompson’s Station Rd W, Thompson’s Station, TN 37179
Things to Do on a Day Trip from Nashville
It wouldn’t be a proper Nashville area vacation without experiencing some live music, so I surprised Rachel with my luxury activity: amazing seats for a concert at the brand new FirstBank Amphitheater. Folks are calling this the new Red Rocks, and as soon as the stage comes into view you can see why. The amphitheater is nestled into the reclaimed Graystone Quarry in Thompson’s Station. What once was just a hole filled with literal tons of junk is now one of the coolest outdoor music venues in the U.S.
We had the absolutely insane good fortune of being in Franklin the same time as The Jonas Brothers and Kelsea Ballerini, so the crowd was filled with out-of-control screams from all ages who are in love with this Jo Bro or that one. I actually surprised Rae with the tickets AND the segment, so don’t miss her hilarious reaction inside the episode. Click here to check out upcoming shows at FirstBank Amphitheater.
4525 Graystone Quarry Ln, Franklin, TN 37064
Total cost for Angie’s Franklin Itinerary: $1,000
But wait, there’s more! If you’re searching for more fun things to do in Franklin and Leipers Fork, check out:
- Wine tasting and live music at Arrington Vineyards, co-owned by Kix Brooks
- A hot air balloon flight over Franklin
- 90-minute Thai massage at the Spa at Leiper’s Fork
If you visit Nashville and skip Franklin and Leipers Fork, you have missed out on some of the best Tennessee has to offer!
Want to recreate our trip or learn more about Franklin, Tennessee? We’re happy to help you decide where to splurge and where to save. Tune into the full episode of THE JET SISTERS | FRANKLIN for all the details!
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1 thought on “The Jet Sisters’ Guide to Fabulous Franklin, Tennessee – on any Budget”
Wow, that place looks great!